Night Out for Safety and Liberation challenges notion that police provide safety

On the 1st of August, BYP100 DC, BLM DC, and the Movement 4 Black Lives DC hosted DC's Night Out for Safety and Liberation at Covenant Baptist Church in Anacostia. This event was part of a national series of events promoting alternatives to relying on police, and in direct counterpoint to the official "National Night Out."

A highlight of the event was a series of skits put on mostly by young people dramatizing real-world street situations and ways of solving them without involving the police. Examples included dealing with street harassment, a kid in a store with a backpack being presumed to be stealing, and even someone actually stealing from a locally-ownesd store. The chosen solution in that case was for the family of the person stealing from the store to return on the weekend and put in a few hours work to pay for the (inexpensive) item stolen. There was even a true story of a woman who had been sexually assaulted having a choir rehearse a song about her story, then sing it in front of the perpetrator at his place of work in front of all his coworkers. In all of these cases, involving the police can lead to dangerous escalation for all sides. One commentor pointed out that police are often just another street gang.

In gentrified parts of DC, bar owners too found out the hard way that involving police in anything can blow back on them. Bar owners calling police to report crimes in front of their bars often fine those very reports used against them in liquor license hearings. While this particular example did not come up at Night Out for Safety and Liberation, this is the sort of thing that many have come to expect from dealing with police and the city government.

The Night Out for Safety and Liberation began in Oakland several years ago but has since spread to cities all over the portion of Turtle Island claimed by the so-called "United States," its police, its courts, and its military. It's not for nothing that the US is often called "the world's policeman."

The scene outside Covenant Baptist Church as young people re-enacted street situation where there are better solutions that cops

The original promo flier for this event

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